LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — As we’ve officially hit the start of spring and the weather continues to improve, people become more and more active as a result, so too will the phone lines inside the Wolfe County Search and Rescue team office. The Wolfe County team is one of America’s busiest as they service The Daniel Boone National Forest, which includes Red River Gorge.
“We answered more than 80 search and rescue calls last year alone,” said Drew Stevens, the public information officer for the team. “When emergencies happen in the backcountry of the Red River Gorge, we’re who responds to get those people out safely and quickly.”
From missing to badly injured hikers (the latter was a call they actually received today), Wolfe County S&R team members are responsible for them all, and oftentimes they have to execute dangerous rescue operations given the rough terrain and steep cliff drops. Their efforts were recognized today in Louisville where team members were presented with a brand new Land Rover Defender SUV for being named a winner of the “Defender Above and Beyond Service” award.
“You guys are incredible,” Governor Andy Beshear said during today’s presentation. “You answer the calls day, or night to help people who fall into trouble,” he continued.
The Wolfe County Search and Rescue team operates with volunteers exclusively and is funded with grants. This Land Rover was not something they could’ve acquired without the help of winning this contest.
“To be able to win and get those votes, and to get a vehicle that will ultimately save lives is monumental,” Stevens said.
He later noted that it won’t remain shiny for long, as the vehicle will be immediately pressed into service as more and more people begin to visit.
“You all volunteer to help the hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, who visit each year,” Mr. Beshear said. He also praised them for their versatility given every distress call they receive is likely to present some kind of new and different challenge.
“…It’s a testament to your training and ability to work together,” the governor said.
If you’d like to donate to the Wolfe County Search and Rescue team, you can do so here: Donate to the Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team.